Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Making Our Day by Nannette Croce

Recently we celebrated my parents’ 85th birthday. A momentous occasion though at times I sense my parents' ambivalence at having made it this far. The last of their siblings on both sides, used to large family gatherings just because it's Sunday, no need to wait for a special event, it seemed this year could never meet up to expectations.

So this birthday instead of a smaller group of people sitting around the table in a down-sized dining room, we surprised them with a a blast from the past––The Boss.

No, not that Boss. Our “Boss” is my Mom’s cousin. A barber by trade, every Sunday he visited his suburban cousins and their neighbors, giving cheap haircuts. Short on formal education and pretense but long on humor and street wisdom, he always put me in mind of Red Skelton as he entered the house each week whistling some operatic aria, dispensing hard pieces of Bazooka bubble gum to the kids, rough housing with over-stimulated dogs and telling the most hilarious stories usually involving his broken down, several-times-used Edsel.

With him unable to drive and my parents’ difficulty getting around, we hadn’t seen him in ages and didn’t know what to expect, but when he walked in last weekend, whistling a tune and chiding my parents for living someplace so hard to find, the years melted away. He’d left the bubble gum in his other coat. Our teeth can’t handle it anyway. He––and now his daughter––regaled us with stories we somehow hadn’t heard or had, perhaps, forgotten.

Boss is 92.

Thanks for making our day!


Barbara Quinn said...

Thank heavens for The Boss. My Mom is 87 and still lives on her own and life is a struggle. But when she gets out and has a change of scene it helps her to forget all the aches and pains and bad stuff for a while. She still complains but not so much. You're a good daughter and person.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Cheers to the oldsters in our lives who never fail to add delight to any gathering! (I hope I'm a "Boss" when I grow up!)

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh! How delightful (did I just write "delightful?" huhn...but it is!)

this made me smile

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